questions & answers
Question: If I bought a house and a rental home before I got married, does my wife have any rights to the equity ?
Answer: According to Arizona Revised Statute 25-213, NO. This statute states:
A. A spouse's real and personal property that is owned by that spouse before marriage and that is acquired by that spouse during the marriage by gift, devise or descent, and the increase, rents, issues and profits of that property, is the separate property of that spouse.
B. Property that is acquired by a spouse after service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment is also the separate property of that spouse if the petition results in a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.
Here is the guide for "community property" in Arizona...
ARS 25-211. Property acquired during marriage as community property; exceptions; effect of service of a petition
A. All property acquired by either husband or wife during the marriage is the community property of the husband and wife except for property that is:
1. Acquired by gift, devise or descent.
2. Acquired after service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment if the petition results in a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.
B. Notwithstanding subsection A, paragraph 2, service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment does not:
1. Alter the status of preexisting community property.
2. Change the status of community property used to acquire new property or the status of that new property as community property.
3. Alter the duties and rights of either spouse with respect to the management of community property except as prescribed pursuant to section 25-315, subsection A, paragraph 1, subdivision (a).
To break this down to help you understand, anything you acquire before and after service of divorce paperwork is yours. During your marriage your property is considered "community property" which means it is shared with your spouse...unless it was a gift.
The house and rental home are yours and your spouse has no right to it.
If I bought a house and a rental home before I got married, does my wife have any rights to the equity ?
- Please select your county of residence below.
State Bar of Arizona
Maricopa County Bar
Referral number 602-257-4434
Pima County Bar
Referral number 520-623-4625
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
Certified Legal Document Preparer Program